Three drivers test new Chevy Indy V8 at Phoenix.
PHOENIX, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 -- Preparations for the 2003 Indy Racing League season continued Dec. 9 at the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway as two-time IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr., Jaques Lazier and Vitor Meira tested the new Chevy Indy V8 engine.
Hornish tested with Pennzoil Panther Racing, while Lazier and Meira tested for Team Menard.
The 2003 Chevy Indy V8, which made its on-track debut Oct. 26 at Kentucky Speedway, will compete in its first race in less than 90 days on March 2, 2003 in the IRL's season-opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"We put some more miles on the engine," Hornish said. "They are trying to learn as much as they can and change what needs to be changed."
Hornish has won the last two IRL championships, each time with a General Motors engine, Oldsmobile in 2001 and Chevrolet in 2002. The offseason testing with the new Chevy engine has given him confidence he can make a run for three consecutive championships.
"We've run I don't know how many miles on it without any problems," Hornish said. "We ran at Kentucky and Texas and now here without any problems. We're optimistic for next year and for Miami."
Testing will continue Dec. 10 at Phoenix and then move to California Speedway on Dec. 12.
The season-opening race at Miami will mark the third consecutive year the IRL has raced at Miami. The series then returns for the eighth consecutive year to Phoenix on March 23, 2003. Both races will be broadcast live on ABC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.